Two young players, both named Ryan Clark each scored a goal in the Under 13 Shield Final held at Linlithgow Rose on Tuesday 25th May and their contribution helped an excellent Braidhurst High School team to a win over a plucky Cults Academy side.
Prestonfield Park , Linlithgow was an excellent venue for this final with the helpful club officials even more upbeat following their Scottish Junior Cup win at the week end. The playing surface was in excellent condition and both teams lived up to the setting to produce an excellent match, full of good football and played in an very good, competitive but sporting fashion.
Braidhurst, being watched by Motherwell FC manager Mr Craig Brown, started in whirlwind fashion and had Cults pinned back from the start. After going close a few times they went ahead in the ninth minute with a strike that will not be bettered in the upcoming World Cup Finals. Left back Ryan Clark struck a superb shot from 25 yards into the top corner to open the scoring.
Cults responded well and fought their way back into the game, gradually gaining more possession. When a free kick from the edge of the box was floated over the defence and striker Aidan Combe reacted first and turned in the ball for a 19th minute equaliser.
The remainder of the first half was evenly contested and the half time whistle was blown by referee Barry Cook with score still at 1 -1.
12 minutes into the second half Braidhurst made the crucial break through which began a match winning burst of two goals in two minutes. Forward Alistair Roy got in behind the Cults defence from a long free kick and his clever lob beat the keeper.
A minute later captain Ryan Clark moved up from centre half for a free kick and headed home Braidhurst’s third goal to open up a crucial two goal lead.
Cults never gave up at any point but they lost a further goal in 53 minutes when Sean Paul Hamilton volleyed home from 16 yards out and five minutes later Alistair Roy grabbed his second and Braidhurst’s fifth goal when he once again ran behind the defence. His first effort was well blocked by the advancing keeper but Roy reacted well to net the rebound.
After a flurry of substitutions and near chances Ronan Duke completed the scoring. His run through the defence left him with only the keeper to beat. It looked as if he had over run the ball but he kept his cool to turn and shoot past the desperate defenders back on the line.
Despite their disappointment, Cults accepted their defeat on the night in true sporting fashion as SSFA President Ronnie Hamilton presented the victorious Braidhurst HS team with the Shield.